How to Save Your Skin While Traveling

October 31st, 2011

By Noella Schink, CityRoom Contributor

Nothing sucks the life out of your skin like a long day of travel. Dry airplane cabin air, grimy airports, stale or greasy terminal food and the exhaustion that goes along with it all leave your skin looking dull. On a recent trip from humid New England to arid California, my chin broke out like a high school student, both from the change of climate as well as the aforementioned travel-related beauty-busters. Luckily I was prepared with all of my favorite mini-sized skin saviors – they rescued my face (and my friend’s wedding pictures) from impending travel doom.

Be Prepared:

First, you have to anticipate dryness even if you are not headed towards desert-like climes. The air you breathe in the cabin of an airplane is parched and though filtered, always feels germ-filled. Before flying, I am always certain to be apply my usual moisturizer generously. I also use a hydrating lotion on my arms and legs so when I land I don’t look like a scaly, flaky mess. In my carry-on, I tote a sample-sized jar of moisturizer (most cosmetics counters will give you one) and pat it on my face and décolletage in-flight so I can feel cool and refreshed. (Try: Clinique Moisture Surge.)

Never Neglect to Cleanse:

Removing the dirt from a day’s travel is paramount for staving off breakouts and lackluster complexion. Even if you get in late and only use an easy make-up remover wipe, (Neutrogena makes travel packs of their gentle wipes) – this lazy solution beats out hitting the pillow with bacteria and pore-clogging oil on your face. If you have time, (or energy, go through your whole cleansing and moisturizing routine.

Try to Avoid Sub-Par Skincare Products:

It’s certainly convenient to save on packing space and use the soap and lotion provided in a hotel (or borrow from the friends or family you are staying with.) If you have sensitive skin like I do, though, using products that aren’t right for my skin almost always result in redness, irritation and of course, breakouts. Take the time to scout out travel sizes of the products you know work for you. If you can’t buy them, make them yourself with mini, TSA friendly bottles from the drugstore. Using your familiar products will help keep your skin balanced and calm, even when the weather or climate is going haywire.

Remember Sunblock!

This is the most important traveling tip of all, for your face looking radiant and overall health. SPF 50 or above for your face, no exceptions.

If lack of sleep, are overly stressed, or  indulge in a last minute airport burger leaving you with on-the-road-skin woes, fear not. Just remember to bring your trusty sulfur-based (it’s less drying than other acne busting ingredients) emergency treatment. My favorite is Origins Out of Trouble Mask. A dab on the blemish overnight leaves it shrunken and much less noticeable in the morning.

Taking the time to take care of your skin will mean gorgeous vacation photos and no unsightly blemishes or other facial misfortune. In addition to these easy tips just be sure you drink plenty of water (which you should be doing anyway), and get a good night’s rest after a rigorous day of vacationing. Happy Travels!